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Record-breaking Minnesota WR Tyler Johnson could be a third- to fifth-round steal

This is the perfect draft if wide receiver is about third or fourth on your team’s needs list.

As analysts have said, the 2020 WR class may lack star power, but it certainly doesn’t lack depth, as it’s considered potentially historically deep at the position. Translation: You can still probably find a starting-caliber receiver beyond Day 2.

That’s not necessarily good news for players like Minnesota’s Tyler Johnson, who could be drafted a full round – or two – lower than he would any other year. Johnson, one of the most celebrated receivers out of Minnesota with more than 20 school records, returned for his senior year and became the first member of his family to receive a degree.

And yet, despite another solid season, Johnson failed to make the Senior Bowl roster and did not participate in the East-West Shrine Bowl. He also did not run the 40-yard dash at the Combine, instead electing to run it at a Pro Day that was eventually canceled due to the virus pandemic.

All this has led to a player whose draft stock has lost some of its luster. Most analysts project Johnson to be drafted between the third to fifth rounds.

Still, if he lands in the right situation, Blogging The Boys founder David Halprin thinks Johnson could wind up being a steal in the later rounds.

“All this guy did was produce in 2019,” Halprin said in an interview with Fanspeak. “It’s true that he’s not the most explosive athlete and there will be limitations to his game, but as a WR2/slot guy, he could be a steal for someone.

“He’s a nice route-runner with room for growth, and is very good at catching contested balls. He is a chain-mover and a red-zone threat. His projections are all over the place but he will probably go somewhere in the fourth/fifth.”

Receiving & Rushing Table
Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2016 Minnesota Big Ten FR WR 7 14 141 10.1 1 0 0 0 14 141 10.1 1
2017 Minnesota Big Ten SO WR 10 35 677 19.3 7 0 0 0 35 677 19.3 7
*2018 Minnesota Big Ten JR WR 13 78 1169 15.0 12 0 0 0 78 1169 15.0 12
*2019 Minnesota Big Ten SR WR 13 86 1318 15.3 13 1 -1 -1.0 0 87 1317 15.1 13
Career Minnesota 213 3305 15.5 33 1 -1 -1.0 0 214 3304 15.4 33

Jake Rigdon (jake@sydwriting.com) covers the NFL draft for Fanspeak and the On The Clock, which is the only NFL draft simulator that allows you to customize and use your own big board while giving you control over trades.

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